I have been bad. My health is taking over my life and recently I have let it. I have fallen into the pain and depression and stopped fighting for me. The one way I often fought back was through words. Reading, writing… any way to escape or let the pain out. I am not big on New Year’s resolutions but this post I got in a Pinterest email shook me awake to what I have been doing wrong. I have ignored some of the best self medication I had. That is going to stop. I am going to pick up books. I even got one for inspiration at Christmas called Poem Crazy. It was one I had checked out from the library and found the link in nature and words very inviting. However the nature part is on hold with wind chills in the negative teens. BUT I can work on all that is listed here. I am not out to write a novel or manuscript. I am out to maybe connect with that one person who needs to know they are not alone. Or the one reader who needs a lift on a bad day. Someone who is always kept from nature who might need to recall the smell of fresh-cut grass tickling his nose. I want to get back to writing. I want to find my inner discipline again and practice a little peace of mind with words. Practice they say make perfect… I’d settle for better.
Why is it that with other people around me I can feel utterly alone, but when it was just me taking walks in nature I felt surrounded in love and beauty? When I was more isolated in natures embrace I felt less alone than at my own home… am I really that broken? I can find a little bit of relief in looking at those pictures I gathered back when I could still walk 30 to 60 minutes without batting an eye. Now as my body twists in pain and weighs heavy with fatigue I am lucky to walk ten feet from the car to the bridge entering one of my favorite parks. But those birds singing and the rushing water are like a warm embrace of an old friend. My chair with family scattered to opposite corners of the house feels like a padded cell locking me out of life. As the isolation grows so does the depression. Finally I wander to seek another human’s contact and feel the empty greetings of them being interrupted in the game they are playing or video they are watching. Maybe I am meant to take flight, far away, soaring into the skies? But my wings are clipped and I feel tethered to this existence of loneliness in life. I only find brief moments of freedom – an occasional shared laugh or a short conversation about more than what is for dinner – that give me hope. A hope that maybe I can slowly file that chain off my ankle and find a step or two each day towards believing that I belong and am no longer the discarded one…. alone in the corner.
…I want to write. I want to escape the pain. I want to take today put it on paper and then crumple it up into the trash. But that will not happen. What’s done is done. Death cannot be reversed. What my daughter saw when she went to her Dad’s will be forever in her mind. He laid in bed cold and lifeless. I wish I had been there. I wish I had been there. I wish I had been there. I could have shielded her from that vision that will haunt her forever. I know I still see the image of the funeral home people moving my Mom into the body bag. I wanted to scream. “Watch out for her head. Don’t hurt her.” What would the point be… she was dead. That feeling will always be in the pit of my stomach. And now my daughter too has a vision of death seared behind her eyes.
…I want to write out all the emotions. The pain and sorrow. The confusion and doubt. The anger and frustration. He was only 52. He has a daughter he will never walk down the aisle. Why now? Why did he not seek out help? Why did he live behind closed doors in isolation so no one was left to help him?
…I want to blame myself even though I know it is not my fault. If we were still married would today have been different? If we had separated earlier would it have changed things? If I had been stronger would he have gotten help sooner? Was it my fault that he was all alone and felt so isolated he stopped eating and caring about nothing but another mind numbing drink?
… I loved him… I do love him. We could not make the marriage work. I could not make it work. I could not watch his slow descent into hell drink by drink. I always wanted him to be happy. I always wished the best for him, for many years at my own expense. I still hope he made peace with God or whoever he believed in these days and is in a better place. I hope he found his Dad and Mom, both of whom he missed terribly. I hope he found peace.
… I want to write. I really don’t know what to say. I hurt and am numb all at the same time. I love you Jeb… rest in peace. I will never forget you. I will always treasure the greatest gift you ever gave me – our daughter. I will miss you. I did not hate you. I just had to protect my heart from more pain. Sleep in sweet happiness now. Good night.
It was the day after and the flags that did me in. I remember the surreal feelings of September 11, 2001 when I turned on the news to check the weather before work that morning. I felt in a haze almost while driving to work after I forced myself away from the images on my television. As a cashier I heard customer after customer come into the store with more and more different stories as the events unfolded. As the day dragged on it seemed more like a ghost town in the store with fewer people coming in by mid day. I felt isolated from the truth and was desperate for news and fact, not speculation and unconfirmed reports. The car radio on the way home, the unending images on TV that night… it didn’t seem real. This was The United States. We are free and safe here. But then I woke to harsh realities that next day.
It was still all over the news. The images like a horrific action movie that seemed far too real. I had not processed a thing. It all seemed so unlikely that someone would do this to everyday people going to work. Children in a daycare. And the hundred of travelers just going to or returning from a vacation or business trip. I once again forced myself to leave for work and only made it two blocks when I saw it. In front of a hardware store in vivid color it hit me without warning. The symbol of our nation. A nation that had been attacked, A nation in deep mourning and a state of shock still. In front of that hardware store was a flag pole and a gentle nod of respect and tribute. The flag at half mast was a splash of cold water that shook me to my soul. We had really been attacked. Thousands were killed, injured, and missing. Our nation was crying, the flag down like a head bowed in prayer.
That moment of awakening to the true agony of this events was more real than pictures on a screen. I had never traveled to those three places and had no connection to them other than they held precious human life; precious American lives that had been stripped away. But that small town hardware store I knew. Then down the block was a gas station I passed everyday. I came to the motorcycle shop I had been in. Everyday places of business, just like the people going to work in those towers in New York. My neighbors worked at these places. To see the flags all down in a sign of mourning was what connected me to the awful acts of terrorism. That was the moment I cried. That was the moment it all became very real for me. That was the moment reality burned through my heart and soul.
I bow my head in prayer for the lives of so many that were lost. I pray for the number of people left wounded both physically and emotionally by these tragedies. Each year still, it is the image of the flags lowered that puts that lump in my throat again. It reminds me of how connected we can be even miles apart. It reminds me that no matter what happens we still have that hope of unity when we rally together as a nation. The flags are returned to full salute today and life goes on. But I will always remember the day after and the effect the sight of the flags had on me.
Some days I win, and some days I just want to gag my mind. I don’t know how else to say it. I know it is the depression coming through in brilliant Technicolor evil. I just don’t understand how I can have a manageable day or two and then SLAM back into the corners of darkness, self-hate and doubt the next. And shouldn’t a yellow warning sign pop out of my ear or something to let me know it is coming?
There is PMS to signal the start of Mother Nature’s flow. There are warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Stoke victims can even see the early warning signs to tell them it is time to call 911. I knew two people who have seizure disorders and can feel them coming on. And it is the job of service animals to sense those changes coming on in the body from many illnesses so you can get help. Why not depression?
I had coffee with a friend yesterday and honestly had a laugh or two. We talked and shared stories for over 2 hours. I had some shopping to do and was pretty tired by the time I made it home, but had wonderful sweet treats to share with my family. My amazing daughter suggested pizza for dinner so no cooking and minimal clean up sounded great to me. Then as everyone went to bed and I was wired and tired … the demon peeked around the corner looking to see if it was time to strike. And apparently it was.
She was there last night and I was able to keep most of her hateful words quiet. Sitting in the dimmed light with my laptop it was a bit hard to argue the old – “You are ALONE again” story. But I could rationally tell her others were just asleep while the pain of activity had me a little restless still. No big deal. I finally slept a little and was ready to great the new day with hope and endless potential. She was barricading the door.
Pain woke me up at least a half a dozen times. And when I knew the clock had ticked too far into the day for me to just TRY and find a more comfortable way to sleep… she was there with her evil grin to lead me into the day.
“You are worthless. You can’t even work. These pains will never leave you. You will be on medications FOREVER. Your friends never respond to you because it is all pity friendships. Oh look… another friend gone from your friends list.” And on and on she screams.
I had a brief moment or two before my daughter left for work when I almost smiled. I thought maybe the demon is losing some strength… but she is strong today. That is why I sit in front of my keyboard now. I sometimes can write her out of my head and onto the screen. Each keystroke a blow to her power and command over me. Each negative thought emptied out of my head like a poison being extracted from a bite.
She is still here. More important is that I am still here too. I am going to put on some music (not that song “Happy” though… just so overplayed it is annoying now) find my cat and shut off the rest of the world and just BREATHE. With any hope, my calm with send her chaotic madness back into the shadows… at least for a while.
The puddles are gathering at the park and I felt I had to be there. I had to be there because I missed the past. I missed walking. And I missed seeing things growing and thriving in spite of adversity. Some one simply had to say that I could “still take walks” to give me the strength to get back to the trails. I may be slower on my journey around a much smaller section of the park. It is not the long path I used to walk two or three times a week. But back then it was easy to walk for an hour or more… it was only the beginning of where my life would change. Some good and some bad, but I still say I survived so many of the changes because I found that link in nature to a part of me that was more at peace.
It is amazing how a simple song bird can calm a chaotic mind. How the rustling of leaves can blow away fears lurking deep within. How the cool moisture of a random raindrop can refresh a haunted soul. Sunshine may warm the skin, but it is not here today and that is ok. We have to have rain to keep nature revolving through its life span, just as we have to have a balance of sadness and joy in our lives. Too much of any one thing can tilt the scales into reckless destruction.
I took the time to inhale a bit of healing. The steps may be harder to take as the days wear on, but each one screams, “I am still alive!” The flowers bloom and the river flows faster as I limp over the bridge. There is a bridge to the future somewhere ahead. I will find it and one way or another get across. Let the rain fall. Let the birds sing. Let life renew. I am at peace for the moment. I am still alive.
I know how I want to die. I want to be like a lost balloon. I want gravity to just stop right where I am standing and let me float away in the air. Most kids when they lose a balloon will cry and maybe be devastated enough that they feel like this is the most heartbreaking thing that can happen to them. Look at them a day later or even just a few hours and it is usually the furthest thing from their mind. Sure they may look back on it with a little sadness too, but rest assured by the time they have a week or two pass, it will only be the memory of something beautiful gently leaving them.
I woke up this morning and spent more than 5 minutes staring at my wrist. I wonder why so many chose the blue-green lines that crisscross there as the point of release for life? I wondered which line would be the right one to choose? I have known people who have cut or burned themselves to release the awful pain inside. They say it is like letting the bad drain out of them when the blood drips. I just see it as evidence left behind I would have to explain over and over again for the rest of my life… however long I could survive still. I never had that as a plan though. My choice was always a tree.
I had a tree picked out just off the side of the road. It was not a deep ditch between me and the tree to stop me from making my destination. I gave it thought more than one day too. I didn’t want to hit another car or a part of a bridge, because someone innocent might end up hurt. I thought of the “safety” of a semi–truck driver behind all that metal, but feared emotional scars for them and I wouldn’t put anyone in the place of feeling blame for my decision. So the tree was it. It was big and beautiful, but life had other plans for me.
A friend intervened and I have seen a counselor for more than 4 years now. I don’t think I will ever be able to say I am not depressed, but I am trying to deal with it and treat it every day. Mornings like today remind me it will never leave. I have taken my anti-depressant now. I have written out some of the bad thoughts. But still that one image floats through my mind.
Let me be the colorful balloon soaring effortlessly through the sky. Let me be that red spot that brings smiles to the faces of innocent bystanders who watch it until it is a mere speck on the horizon. Let gravity end so I can take a peaceful flight to freedom. Just not today…
“You wouldn’t like me when I am angry”… the words I heard as a child may have helped shape me. Anger was not pretty. It was green and ugly and beyond control. I didn’t want to be angry. It was a loss of control that left people hurt, injured and crying… I wanted everyone around me happy. Now I find anger a foreign feeling for me. I have it, but I twist and alter it until it becomes my fault and turns into depression. This time i refuse to let it happen. I am mad and I want to shout it!
Is it wrong to be mad? Most will say it is normal and more healthy to get mad then hold it in. I am just very unfamiliar with that. But for some reason this time it is seems like such a twist of reality, an out right lie from the past, that makes me fume. I don’t want to become The Hulk. I try and step back from the anger and refocus. Am I being unrealistic. judgmental or even jealous?
I have rewritten this post so many times already. I am being protective of a friend. The problem comes with the fact is one of his friends put him in a place of danger and I am FURIOUS. It is hard to deal with because she has always come off as better then anyone else and the perfect Mom. If things had gone wrong … I don’t even want to think of what would have happened. It could not only have affected my friend, but this woman’s family too. I despise the fact she does this and doesn’t think of how it could hurt all those around her. Yeah, I think it is anger and a little jealousy.
How do I keep from blowing my stack? I am biting my tongue. I am trying to distract my thoughts with other things. I am writing and rewriting. It will not leave. I don’t know why I am so enraged by her actions. Maybe I am projecting my parental duties onto my friend – I want to shelter him. I also shudder at what her kids would have gone thru if their Mom had left. It brings all the tensions to my shoulders, neck and head.
A constant pounding headache is invading my day. The Hulk is growing in the back of my brain and there is no hope of keeping him from ripping thru. I don’t like the feeling of anger. I think I am justified in being mad at her. But then the next minute I am hesitant in my approval. Anger is wrong. It brings hurt and pain. But what if hurt and pain happen first? Does that justify anger in retaliation? I am new to letting the anger stay. I used to write it out in poems if it got to close to raging green. Today the poetic flow has been silenced and the Hulk stands at the ready. The ultimate question though is am I ready?
The word of the day… respect. Does anyone have it anymore? I have listened to a couple of friends fighting this weekend and I have come to the conclusion that neither one shows much respect for the other. Old problems thrown back at each other when feelings get hurt. Jabs taken at personal issues. It has been a long list of things that in my mind comes thru as a lack of respect. Yes, I get in fights with friends and family too, but I would like to think I take the high road and not throw salt into the wounds. It is something I try to be very conscious of others feeling as I know how bitter bad words can taste.
I also work with the public… now there is an epidemic of lack of respect! From very personal cell phone conversations in the middle of a family restaurant, to swearing at the park in front of young children, from paying NO attention to cashiers at the checkout to blaming the employees for being out of stock of a certain item… there are a MILLION examples of common courtesy being ignored or maybe never taught. So often I see parents showing no respect to their children. Yes, they are a child and should show respect to their parents, but how do they learn that respect. You have to SHOW it. I always spoke to my daughter as a human being (no baby talk) and really listened to what she had to say. That takes time that a lot of parents these days don’t have. I understand working long hours or two jobs, but what about the day-cares? Do they have the staff to show respect to all the children at once? Even when they get to school age there are a lot of great teachers, but it only takes one who shows no respect for the student to encourage the lack of respect back.
I was raised to be a part of what was going on around me. It was not a case of speak only when you are spoken to, but it was like I had a voice. Granted I was too shy to use it most of the time, but I knew they would listen if I spoke at the right times. I get busy and ignore texts, let the answering machine pick up and all those other things at times… but I know I always get back to whoever it was (with the exception of telemarketer who never leave a message anyway… that is a whole different blog!) within a day. Don’t turn your back on friends. Don’t alienate family. You don’t have to like them, you can be mad at them… but RESPECT them.
Understand we all have bad days and may need to say no. We all make mistakes. Not everyone knows you were up all hours of the night and got no sleep, or that you have been sick and don’t feel up to original plans that were made, or that you had a family emergency and you are stressed beyond limits. Remember we all need respect… don’t assume anything. Take the time to respect and talk to each other, but most of all listen. That is where respect will grow.
Why do people have to move? It is the silliest and most frustrating thing in the world! I have moved 4 times before and am in the middle of #5. Half of the things you can’t pack until the last minute and then it is the pack until 3 am rush. I overslept this morning and have no ambition today. This is the day to make phone calls for switched services at least, so not a lot of time for that. It is also catch up on laundry day… It is supposed to be a plus having a washer drying IN my apartment. BUT it is in the basement/garage and I am so sick of stars. Glad my new place has laundry on the main floor.
But really why do we move so much? I know people who move every year of college to a different apartment. It is most likely a 4 year run… can you really say you enjoy moving every year? Box it all up, move, unpack, study, box it again, repeat yearly. Maybe it is because I am past my college years so I lack the energy to do such a thing. I just don’t get it. I moved my four times for pretty normal reasons… away from home, into a house with marriage, back home with a divorce, and a place all my own. Now move 5 is to be closer to work in a MUCH nicer place. But really if gas cost weren’t thru the roof… I would be content to stay where I am for a while more. It is not paradise, but it is a roof over my head.
I guess I should live and learn…become a packing pro with another move of experience. …and stop avoiding the situation by writing about it and GET BACK AT IT!
(((HUGS))) to everyone!